The Carriage House Inn B&B

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Archives: May 2018

Good Karma Tea Company

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Good Karma Tea photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Good Karma Tea Company

Founded in 2012 by sisters, Cameo and Lyndsey Hoyle, Good Karma Tea Company has found its niche in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Good Karma Tea Company is a tea wholesaler and retailer that promotes and supports well-being.  They are dedicated to holistic healing through teas, herbs and wellness practices.

Good Karma blends organic loose leaf artisan teas and tisanes by hand.  The blends taste good and are good for you.  The fine organic ingredients create unique flavor profiles and enhance the natural healing properties of the body.  Herbal teas focus on common ailments such as sleep, allergies and pain relief.  The teas and tisanes strengthen the immune system and promote cognitive preservation.

Teas offered include white, green, black, herbal, oolong, yerba mate, pur-erh, rooibos and single origin.  The teas are sold in 1 ounce or 4 ounce packages.  A “tea love club” was formed for those who like to purchase a selection of teas for either 4 month, 8 months or 12 months at a time.  In addition to teas and tisanes the store also sells tea accessories.  The most important accessory may be the steeping kit that contains 3 small hour glasses each filled with 3 different colors of sand.  Depending on the type of tea you will be steeping you select the appropriate hour glass, for a perfect cup of tea every time.

The shop and tea room periodically offer a variety of events, demonstrations and tastings.  The calendar of events can be found on their web site www.sipgoodkarma.com

Located at 174 Norfolk Avenue, just around the corner from the Corner at Rivermont, the store is open Tuesday through Saturday between 10 until 6.  Sunday they are open between 11 until 4.  For more information you can call 434.515.2058.  It’s a perfect spot to visit this Memorial Day weekend after you have done some hiking or biking on the Blackwater Creek Trails.  Take a break and enjoy their porch or patio.

Although most of our guests, at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, drink coffee in the morning at breakfast we are now offering Good Karma Tea blends as our featured “tea of the day.”  Come stay with us and we will prepare you your own pot of tea!

Searching for the Overseer’s House

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As our blog followers know we find Poplar Forest an interesting, thought provoking and unique treasure in the Lynchburg, VA area.  This month we are highlighting some current archaeological work being pursued at Poplar Forest.

During the summer of 2017 the first archaeological steps to locate the overseer’s house were begun. Located on a lot adjacent to Poplar Forest students from the annual Field School in Historic Archaeology and Landscapes conducted a six-week study of a plot of land.  Excavating a total of 26 shovel test pits and 7 five-foot excavation units many “treasures” dating to the late 18th-early 19th century were found.

Artifacts included handwrought and machine cut nails, window glass, melted glass, fragments of ceramic vessels, an iron buckle and a coat sleeve button.  A large quantity of slag, the waste product from blacksmithing, was also found.  It is now assumed that the area studied is only the edge of the site and that it probably extends onto other properties located just outside of the land currently owned by Poplar Forest.

Why is the location of this house important?  The structure was likely one of the earliest to be built on the plantation, possibly as early as the 1760’s.  This structure would have been a center of activity until Jefferson built the octagonal retreat house in 1806.  Determining the whereabouts of the overseer’s house will assist in determining how the plantation was originally laid out in the years prior to the construction of Poplar Forest, Jefferson’s retreat house.

It is thought that Thomas Jefferson wrote the majority of his book, Notes on the State of Virginia, in the overseer’s house while he was convalescing after a fall from his horse.  The book is a statement of Jefferson’s principles and is a reflection of his wide-ranging tasks and talents.  It deals with culture, comments about social phenomena and his political and social philosophies.

As always, a trip to Polar Forest will teach you something new or expose you to a new idea or thought presented by Thomas Jefferson.

 

 

What’s Behind the Name Poplar Forest?

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Rear view of Poplar Forest showing the poplar trees of Thomas Jefferson’s time.

Whether you live in the Lynchburg, VA area or not we know many of our readers and guests at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast have taken the time to visit historic Poplar Forest.  While touring this magnificent house and the grounds did you ever wonder why Poplar Forest is called Poplar Forest?

Thomas Jefferson built his retreat adjacent to a poplar forest, in Bedford County, in part to honor the majestic tree that grew prolifically in the woods surrounding his property.

Thomas Jefferson was an experienced builder.  While building his retreat he specified certain woods for specific uses and functions.  The heartwood from old-growth poplar trees was prized for exterior as well as interior features.  Poplar wood was used for structural members of the house such as joists and  rafters.  It was used for the Doric balusters of the classical roof balustrade.  The trim found both outside and inside the house were hand-molded from poplar wood.

Poplar wood is scarce today due to the fact that a living tree must be felled in its prime.  If left to become a full, mature tree–in 200-300 years–the heartwood will rot and disappear.  The poplar wood used by Jefferson was sawed by hand with pit saws operated by enslaved labor.

Surrounding Poplar Forest, the mansion, you will see five Jefferson-era poplar trees on the north side of the house.  Today these trees are more valuable as historical landscape features rather than sources of lumber.  In 2000 one large poplar tree was taken down.  It did have some usable heartwood that has been used for moldings in the house: bases, chair rails, architraves and entablatures.  This interior trim is also being made by hand, as in Jefferson’s day.

The next time you visit Poplar Forest, as there is always something new to see or experience, take a few moments to walk the perimeter of the house.  Look up at the magnificent poplar trees.  Imagine Thomas Jefferson and his grand daughters staring at these same trees, many, many years ago.

As extra incentive to visit and tour Poplar Forest if you visit on Saturday, May 12th an architectural restoration talk and tour will be offered.  During this special talk and tour you will learn how the restoration architects, architectural historians and craftsmen are meticulously restoring Jefferson’s vision for this stately mansion.  These tours are at 11 and 2 on the 12th.  Reservations are suggested.  Regular tour admission prices apply.

 

Mexican, Egg and Tortilla Chip Scramble

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Mexican, egg and tortilla chip scramble served with a soft taco on the side.

We’re celebrating Cinco De Mayo this month at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast, in Lynchburg, Virginia.  As most of you know by now, we alternate a savory and a sweet entrée each morning for our guests.  This month we will be serving this egg scramble as our savory entrée.  Come stay with us and experience a slightly different take on scrambled eggs.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1 red jalapeño pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh corn kernels
  • kosher salt
  • 8 large eggs
  • 4 cups corn tortilla chips, slightly crushed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, torn, plus more for topping
  • diced avocado, sour cream and pico de gallo, for topping

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the poblano, scallions and jalepeño; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly softened, 1-2 minutes.  Add the corn and ¾ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 2 more minutes.
  2. Whisk the eggs with ¼ cup water and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl.  Add the eggs to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula to form large curds, until the eggs are softly scrambled, about 2 minutes.  Add the tortilla chips, ¾ cup cheese and the cilantro to the skillet; cook, stirring, until well combined, 1-2 more minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the scramble with the remaining ¼ cup cheese and top with avocado, sour cream, pico de gallo and more cilantro.

Serves 4-6

Helpful Hints:

  • It is suggested you have all of your ingredients prepped, measured and ready to go before you start the actual cooking process.  This recipe moves rather quickly once you start cooking.
  • All peppers “heat” are found in their ribs and seeds.  You can adjust the spiciness of the peppers in this recipe if it sounds too spicy.
  • We used 1 fresh ear of corn to produce ½ cup corn kernels.  We added a bit more than the suggested measurement.
  • We added about 1/2 cup of browned mild Italian sausage.  It adds a bit more flavor plus a meat protein to the dish.  You can use Spicy Italian sausage if you’d like.
  • We serve this savory breakfast entrée with warm corn tortillas, fresh from the garden sliced tomatoes and a combination of warm black beans and corn.
  • Go crazy and serve a Margarita!